Oakland Raiders Training Camp: Previewing the Running Backs
Training camp shouldn’t foretell much regarding Darren McFadden; he probably won’t push it and risk having an injury. Personally, I just want him to enjoy the Napa scenery. In a contract year with a change back to the power-scheme tells me a huge year is ahead for the Oakland Raiders‘ featured RB.
This camp will give terrific insight on who can become the primary backup to McFadden. Rookie Latavius Murray has a terrific highlight reel coming out of Central Florida, portraying great speed (4.39 forty-yard dash) and good vision with cutback ability. He ran a large amount of zone-type plays in college but does have similar skill-sets to McFadden. If he turns out to be good enough, could help take a lot pressure off of McFadden if stability becomes a factor. He’s my favorite to land the backup role.
Incoming Rashad Jennings hasn’t started much in his five-year career. He struggled in 2012 only averaging 2.8 yards-per-carry through 101 attempts. Oakland hopes to inherit the 2010 form of Jennings who averaged 5.5 yards a carry with a long of 74 yards. At 28, there is still some potential there. A change of scenery helps at times.
Jeremy Stewart seems to be the one getting buried in the depth chart. The second year player has shown the ability to catch the ball, catching eight-for-eight attempts with a couple 20-yard receptions. Stewart also generated four missed tackles last year.
With the prowess of McFadden, expecting a more run-oriented based offense sounds like a justifiable thought–especially having three QBs with extremely limited starting experience. With McFadden not having the most reliable health, a dependable backup will be required for a strong and consistent offense.
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